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Keep pushing until the universe tells you that it's enough

On this beautiful women's month edition, Carob Magazine sits down with Carob's next covergirl search winner, the absolutely beautiful and talented Lady Black poet. We talk to her about her life, career, book and image.

By Ntsako Mbhokota.

 It's a Tuesday morning in Johannesburg, I'm a few minutes late for my interview. I'm going into the studio to meet up with an amazing young woman vocalist and poet from the Free State popularly known as Lady Black poet.

I pace up the stairs into the lift almost spilling the coffee. When I walked in, I was met by her manager Ditaba.

A minutes later we located our muse in the recording studio. I know her to be a poet but I have never known until now that she is a gifted vocalist as well.
She is a ball of refreshing energy with an infectious laugh.

We talk Africa, beauty, religion,  history and we go deep into it. To sum her up in two words. Intelligent and well informed. 
She is the first contestant of Carob's Next Cover-girl search Jozi. A competition that Carob Magazine runs annually to give extraordinary young women a chance to tell their story to our readers. As a publication we know that there are extraordinary women out there who have extraordinary stories to share and we take it upon ourselves to find them and share their stories with you.

As soon as we finished make up. We headed straight  to the rooftop where our photo shoot took place. There is definitely something very special about Lady Black poet. She is super talented and loved by many people. She is forever present. 

I was honestly not surprised 7 days later when we sat down for a cover interview because I knew she was going to win the competition the moment I laid my eyes on her I knew she was a go getter. Below is an interview with Carob's next covergirl search winner Nomthandazo Tshembeni AKA Lady Black Poet, find out why she is our winner.

CAROB MAGAZINE: Where were you born?

LADY BLACK POET: I was born in Welkom, Free State. My mother had me at the age of 45 after the loss of her other seven kids. She had already gone through menopause when she had me.

She says that she prayed and asked God to give her a child as there were only two of nine left. Hence my name is Nomthandazo.

CAROB MAGAZINE: Have you found your purpose in life,  if you have what would say you've been born to do.

I was born to mend my mother's heartache from the the loss of her eight children, to be her pillar of strength through her heart failure and my dad's mental illness. I was born to pursue my spiritual journey.
I was born to be the light in the darkness, I was born to heal pain and be the answer to unanswered questions.

CAROB MAGAZINE: Please tell me what inspired your book, God is a poet?

LADY BLACK POET: I have been writing since primary school. I used to write on the walls of the shack and everything I could script on (including my  clothes).

When I discovered that there's something called poetry, it made sense to me and I loved it because I could relate. I started compiling my poetry book using a notebook. I wrote poems, quotes and short stories.

I never knew that I could make a living from poetry until I won my award in 2012 and got a large sum of money as part of the prize.
On that competition, I was spotted by mama Tinah Mnumzana and she took me to Bloemfontein to work with her. I had already matured in my art at that time because I had also won an international poetry contest.


Later, I lost my poetry book and someone started posting my work on Facebook claiming that it was his.  (He recently apologized and we are in good terms now).

That was it, I wanted to own my work, to have it on a slate that will never be forgotten. I started compiling poems for the book but I didn't have a name yet

I later on had an idea to do what I did in high school, compile everything in one book. The name was inspired live on the stage in Kroonstad year 2013, I was performing and the words just started spilling out. God is a poet.

CAROB MAGAZINE: Tell me about your Image,  why have you kept it clean and natural?

LADY BLACK POET: I grew up in a family that didn't have much to spend on luxuries so I platted my hair with wool from primary until high school. I was always teased for not being like other girls (braiding and having these "nice" hair styles).

I had my first braids in high school and my first weave in grade 10 because Of The pressure to look like other girls. But I wasn't comfortable with it and in grade 11 (2009) I started to grow my hair naturally and I loved it. It taught me to be patient with myself.

I locked my hair after matric in 2011 and I made a vow to myself to grow it for at least 15 years before I cut it. As I matured after matric, I learned to love myself with my edges. I  laid a strong foundation of self-love, self-acceptance because I have been feeling bad about myself for too long that I realized what matters is who I am not how other people define me.

CAROB MAGAZINE: You're a woman who is really comfortable in her own skin please advice other women out there about letting their unique beauty shine from within?

LADY BLACK POET: It is your duty to love yourself enough to be comfortable with how you look. Once you appreciate the person you are by accepting your differences and working on them you are liberating yourself from society's expectation of  how you should be.

CAROB MAGAZINE: What words or mantra do you live by?
LADY BLACK POET: It is your responsibility to live your life in a manner that breaks boundaries because your life was a battle from the moment you were detached from your mother. Therefore, keep on pushing until the universe tells you that it's enough.